McLaren has finally “turned the corner” and is in a better position heading into the 2020 Formula 1 season, according to CEO Zak Brown.

The British squad is looking to build on its most successful season of the V6 hybrid era to date in 2020, having clinched fourth spot in last year’s constructors’ championship and ended a five-year wait for a podium.

McLaren was boosted by the arrivals of new team principal Andreas Seidl and technical director James Key in 2019, but the pair only joined after the season had started.

With a full winter behind them, and a new leadership structure in place under Seidl, Brown is convinced McLaren is in better shape than it was 12 months ago.

“It feels a lot better than this time last year,” Brown said at the launch of the team’s MCL35 at its Woking headquarters.

“We knew we had James and Andreas joining us but they had not yet, but now I feel like I’ve got my complete Formula 1 team in place with Andreas leading it.

“James is who we wanted to be technical director, so my role is to get people in right place and give them right resources. I think ever since we starting making changes we’ve accomplished that.

“We had a pretty good car last year that got stronger over the second part of the year, I put that down to everybody but a lot was down to the leadership from Andreas and James, as the car got more competitive it wasn’t a coincidence that it was when they got stuck into things.

“Andreas brought a lot of clarity into how we want to see the F1 team run, that’s been very well received, there’s a nice environment around the factory and a real team feeling.

“That being said the gap to third is still very big in Formula 1 terms so I think we have to be realistic that we hope to close the gap,” he added.

“The first thing we have to do is to not go backwards and that in itself isn’t easy as we have great competition in the midfield.

“It’s very exciting times at McLaren. We’ve turned the corner, we do have a long way to go but I’m excited for Australia.”  

Seidl echoed Brown’s comments and believes it is crucial that McLaren continues its upward trajectory and does not get “carried away” with what it achieved last year.

“It’s a reset back to zero again for every team in the pit lane,’ he explaiend.

“Whenever you are starting a new season everyone is having the same ambitious targets, everyone is working as hard as we do as well. For me it’s simply important to focus on ourselves.

“I’m very happy with what I have seen in terms of development of the car over the winter, so I think we can be quite optimistic going into the new season but we have to be realistic as well.”

 

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